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ISTE Exhibit Hall Part 3

June 27, 2012

go back to Exhibit Hall Part 2

Spent some time in the exhibit hall again on Day #3, in no particular order, here are some of the things I learned.

Kaseya makes a service management software for IT staff. Basically it’s help desk, asset tracking, monitoring, service monitoring, etc. The two guys who were in the booth were actually school district employees who were asked by the company to be there. They were ecstatic about the software and raved and raved. I asked about the type of reporting I am looking for, essentially being able to choose a particular make and model of computer, and then summarize the cost of supporting that machine – data from any tickets about that model. And yes, it does. However it’s quite costly, licensed per managed machine. However, because it does what I’m looking for, it will be worth a few hours of review in the Summer.

Absolute Software
Okay folks sit back, strap in, and hang on! This is the software referenced in my blog post from Monday, managing ipads. So this is software for managing your fleet, and I specifically was asking about iOS devices. This is an MDM server which allows you all the cool things you want to do when managing devices. Pricing is really good too, sounds like it’s about $20 per device every three years. Which makes it about 30% less than JAMF – I think. And yes, they even do your very own “self-service” app store you can have on all your ipads. This one is working in the wild. I’ll definitely be checking it out in July.

Okay, I’m still not sure what this is, but I got a T-shirt. The guy was trying to tell me it’s like a bunch of free online tutorials for students and teachers to share. Well, now I have an account, I’ll try it out! The focus on the booth was getting people’s contact information in exchange for a T-shirt. It’s all free. Not sure how they stay in business.

Whoa, this was cool. Looked at a number of document cameras, you’ll see more below, and Elmo was by far the best, most cool, most useful, and you can use it for Origami. (Okay, that’s because they had us each making Origami by following the instructor.) Why did I like the Elmo? Simple to use. Remote zooming, incredible built-in tools and software, a great all-round package. I’m not sure what the pricing is like, but head and shoulders above everyone else. And they make a wireless tablet? you can walk around the classroom with and control the Elmo and even do things like take a picture, and put another one side by side and compare and contrast. It was fantastic.

I ended up in the Epson booth much longer than I expected. I wanted to take a look at their short-throw projectors (which are great, and they actually have a bulb that costs only $80 to replace). 3200 lumens. Anyway. I stayed for a while because they were A: showing the interactive projectors and B: talking about colour measurement. The interactive piece was pretty slick. Multiple pens for controlling and annotating, and you don’t even need a computer to use it. Very very nice. Can be used just on a surface. The colour measurement was fascinating. When companies tell you brightness, like 3200 lumens, they are measuring white brightness. But they don’t tell you about the other colours. Turns out they were comparing directly against a manufacturer we were considering. When you measure all the colours, the Epson was still 3200, but the competitor came out at 700. Yes, that is only 700. Dreadful. Now I know another reason why we have the Epsons. Oh yes, and one more thing. They have a table-mounting option for the interactive short throw Epsons…. yes, that means you can have a “surface” computer that’s interactive. Isn’t that cool? So you have a big table, you project on the table, and you interact with it. Words can’t describe the epiphany of seeing that work! You have to try it.

I heard this mentioned a number of times at the conference – mostly positive, but sometimes not. iBoss makes a firewall and a filtering appliance/software – separate devices. The filtering was the one I was most interested in. So you put an agent, or have the computers authenticate, and they get filtered on various levels depending on AD. But the cool part is, they can put an agent on a mobile or BYOD device, so students are filtered when they are at home too. Way cool. So if you’re providing a school device to the students, they can be filtered everywhere. Will have to watch and see how it goes.

TypingPal Online
Yo! A Canadian company out of Quebec. Spoke to Marie. Completely online typing program, that is online, entertaining, and teachers can track everything. Really nice, looks even better than the other ones I looked at earlier, plus she gave me Maple Syrup candy – mmmm. They’ll give us a free trial to setup and play with too. Software
Another filtering product. Agent based, filters all over the place, AD integration. I didn’t have much time with these folks, but will take a look in the Summer.

Very cool document type camera. Also has a microphone, can function as a webcam. Can record video. Can select various compression rates. Great demo. Talked to tech support guy, he says he is like Maytag Repairman. Not a bad price. Software will also do OCR, and convert files to PDF or save as video clips. Nice clean easy. I still like the Elmo better, but if price is the critical factor – this one is worth the look!

One more doc camera. This one is pretty simple. It’s a solid document camera which a flexible neck, so you can move it anywhere. Manual zoom. Auto focus. Built in microphone. Software is neat, and provides remote access to it from another computer (although this one has to be connected to at least one computer) or an iPad. A little on the pricey side, but easy to manage, small and simple.


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